Forgive me this week. I’m riding the struggle bus this week with both life and work moving at full throttle, and the struggle bus, like any other bus, goes 45 mph at best.
The good news is that I got to see the Foster pony a lot this weekend, and am seeing more and more improvement in his demeanor. That means I come home every evening with horse slobber from shoulder to fingertips and a smile on my face.
Yesterday we had the barn to ourself and while it was dismal outside, the lower temps helped put a little pep in his step. I decided to bypass the extra feeding before exercise since he had recently finished dinner, and the lack of mash rumbling around his stomach may have helped as well.
We started with lots of bend on a figure 8 at the walk in order to get him bending properly and moving into each leg and hand equally, and help him let go with the stiff base of his neck. When I saw the slobber on both sides of his mouth we started trotting, and he offered some lovely stretchy trot that must have felt wonderful to his back.
Following that I asked for canter and started to ask him to sit down and stay active, rather than the loopy stretchy canter that I have been doing, and while it wasn’t perhaps amazing test quality, I considered it successful enough. Now that he is improving a bit I am trying to get that rear end a little stronger before asking anything too serious of him. In that vein I also tried a bit of leg yield, and was surprised that he seems to flip which direction was easier for him. When he was staying soft and moving away from my leg I called it a day. All this is 30 minutes of riding, and he finished with perked ears and a happy attitude.
I realize that is potentially a rather boring post, but having a happy ride with no trantering, nappiness, or sour grape faces is a big deal. We haven’t had that kind of ride since early March.
I don’t know how much I’ll be able to replicate our success this week, but that ride, though not brilliant or exciting by normal standards, should last me the week nonetheless.